Expert Advice - Getting Married In The UK

October 8, 2018


Many couples decide to have the United Kingdom as their destination wedding location for many different reasons. Whether it's the historical architecture, the superb wedding venues or the English culture, you will definitely have a destination wedding to remember. If you choose to go traditional in a Country Manor House with a Marquee on site, or stick to a grand hotel in central London, you can be sure to wow your guests when they fly over to witness your marriage. 


We've put this information together for you by our expert Wedding Planner - Illy, also the Founder & Director of Wedding Forex. We have put together the legal requirements for getting married in the UK and any additional information you will need relating to costings.


Photo Credit - Laura Martha Photography 



Destination Weddings in the UK - Types of Weddings

What types of weddings is possible in the UK is a common question asked by many couples. If you're travelling from overseas to the UK you need to know what you can and can't do. Here in the UK we recognise both Civil Ceremonies and Religious Ceremonies. As the UK is a multi-cultural country we can facilitate almost any religion. 


Civil Ceremonies - It is important to check with the local registry office for that area what the requirements are. It is also important to find out if the venue you have chosen is recognised by the local council and on their list of wedding venues. If you find that it isn't possible, you can get married by a Celebrant. A celebrant would mean, you do the legal marrying in your home country and then personalise your vows to be married by a celebrant in the UK. 

*Did you know? Venues in England and Wales are licensed by the Wedding Venue and not by the person. This means the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof before it can be approved to make the marriage legal.


Religious Ceremonies - There are many religions that the UK supports and there are so many different venues to choose from. It is important to check with your local church, mosque or synagogue what the requirements are to get married in the UK. There are many more religions supported by the UK for a destination wedding. 


Same-Sex Weddings - The UK supports same-sex civil ceremonies which means if you are planning to get married in the UK you can! Vows can be completely personalised to reflect you as a couple and many couples are coming to the UK to have their same-sex civil ceremonies.

Destination Weddings in the UK - The Legal Requirements

As an expert wedding planner it isn't unusual for this question to come up. Many couples we deal with often have long-distance relationships meaning we need to keep up-to-date with the legal requirements of a UK Wedding.


Legal Age - The legal minimum age to get married in England, Wales and Scotland is 16 years old, however you will need parental permission if you are under 18 years of age. 


For non-UK nationals the requirements will vary from each individual couple. It is important to check these requirements on the UK Gov Website - Marriages and Civil Partnerships in the UK. If you are subject to immigration control then you must be at least 21 years old to marry in the UK.


Documentation & Paperwork - For couples based in the EU you will need proof of your name, age and nationality. These documents can be from the following list:

- Passport

- Birth Certificate

- National Identity Card from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

- Certificate of Registration

- Certificate of Naturalisation

- Biometric residence card or permit

- Travel document


More information can be found on the UK Gov Website - Documentation and Paperwork UK Link

Destination Weddings in the UK - Notice Requirements

You must give at least 28 days notice in the UK at your local registry office. Your notice will be publicly displayed for 28 days in the registry office. You can only give notice if you have lived in the registry district for the past 7 days.

You will need to contact your chosen religious venue to check what notices need to be made.

Destination Weddings in the UK - What fees would we need to pay?

There are a few different fees that will need to be paid when it comes getting married in the UK.


Visa Fees - You will need to apply for your visa through the UK Gov Website. Visa Fees will vary depending on your location and requirements. 


Notice Fees - You will need to pay a £35 fee to the local registry office of your choice for the notice of your marriage. You will also need to add in costs for your registrar as these will vary depending on the days you are getting married as well as the location of your venue.


Wedding Forex will help bring down costs of your overall wedding, especially when fees get added on top of your destination wedding in the UK. Wedding Forex allows you to Book a Forward which means you can secure a rate up to 12 months in advance. There's no need to worry about the currency market movement whilst you sort out the legal details of the wedding.

Destination Weddings in the UK - How much will the wedding cost?

Of course it is difficult to determine what your wedding will cost as each couple is individual and each couple will have a different wedding budget in mind. As an expert wedding planner we can help give you estimates based on our average client that gets married here in the UK.


The estimate below is based on 80 people attending your destination wedding in the UK:


Wedding Planner                       £3000

Venue Hire Cost                          £3000

Catering Cost                              £6000

Fees                                             £600

Photographer                             £1700

Videographer                              £1700

Florals                                         £2000

Cake                                             £600

Wedding Band/DJ                      £1000

Wedding Rings                           £800

Celebrant                                    £500

Bridal Dress & Accessories      £2000

Groom Attire & Accessories     £600

Bridesmaid Dresses                  £400

Accommodation                         £600* 


Total £24,500


*Couple only, it is no longer etiquette to pay for your guests accommodation.

Destination Weddings in the UK - Save Money Using Wedding Forex

It's important to use a provider such as Wedding Forex for your overseas wedding payment. Not only are we wedding industry experts, we ensure a secure an easy process throughout the whole wedding journey. Save on costs by booking your rate in advance and avoid using the banks. Just speak to your wedding supplier and let them know you'll be sending the funds via Wedding Forex. 


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